Corporate Giants Are Using A Russian Robot To Fill Vacant Jobs


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Anders Hagstrom Justice Reporter
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Corporate giants like Ikea, L’Oreal, and PepsiCo are employing a Russian robot named Vera to fill their vacant jobs that have a high turnover rate, Bloomberg reported Wednesday.

The companies hired Stafory, a 50-person start-up based in St. Petersburg, Russia, to help them fill many of their blue-collar jobs in which personnel are always shuffling around. Stafory founders Vladimir Sveshnikov and Alexander Uraksin eventually decided to automate the process rather than manually sifting through thousands of candidates. They say Vera could cut up to a third of their costs.

“We felt like robots ourselves, so we figured it was better to automate the task,” Uraksin said.

Vera works through video or voice interviews with potential employees, capable of interviewing hundreds of applicants at a time. In the current process, Vera clears pools of candidates, but the final hiring decision still rests with a human recruiter. Even so, Sveshnikov and Uraksin are trying to make Vera more sophisticated, helping it to recognize various levels of emotion such as anger, pleasure, and disappointment.

The bot already combines tech similar to Amazon’s Alexa with software from Google and Microsoft. Stafory also fed Vera 13 billion examples of relevant syntax gathered from across the internet.

The news comes amid growing fears that automation will render large segments of the population jobless, particularly in blue-collar fast food and trucking jobs. The CEO of the popular fast-food chain Jack in the Box said the company is becoming interested in using automated kiosks for customers to order from so they don’t need to pay as many employees, particularly if states jack up the minimum wage.

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